NFL Draft News & Analysis

Top prospect at every position at the 2022 East-West Shrine Bowl

Madison, Wisconsin, USA; Wisconsin Badgers linebacker Jack Sanborn (57) celebrates following a sack during the first quarter against the Penn State Nittany Lions at Camp Randall Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

The East-West Shrine Bowl practices start up this weekend, which means the 2022 pre-draft process is officially underway. Many unheralded Day 3 picks will be on display with the potential to raise their stocks. Here are the top guys on the PFF big board at every position group.

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QB: Dustin Crum, Kent State Golden Flashes

While almost the entire top of the quarterback class will be present at the Senior Bowl, Crum offers more developmental tools than the rest of the Shrine Bowl entries. It will be a great showcase for him as a passer because we already know he’s one of the more dynamic runners in the class. Last season, he put up 930 rushing yards and a 90.4 rushing grade. 

RB: Pierre Strong Jr., South Dakota State Jackrabbits

Strong lives up to his last name with his running style. He battered his way to 1,694 yards and 18 touchdowns this past season for the Jackrabbits, with 49 broken tackles on 239 carries. He can raise his stock by showing improved hands, as he dropped nine of his 71 catchable targets in his college career.

WR: Jaivon Heiligh, Coastal Carolina Chanticleers

Heiligh was the go-to receiver for a potent Chanticleers passing attack this season. He caught 66 passes for 1,128 yards and seven scores and averaged a hefty 3.4 yards per route. He possesses good size for the position at 6-foot-2 and 200 pounds with some route-running skills. 

TE: Derrick Deese Jr., San Jose State Spartans

After years of being an afterthought for the Spartans, Deese broke out for 720 yards on 47 catches in 2021. He is an undersized athlete at the position, checking in around 6-foot-4, 235 pounds. To get by at that size, he needs to show better ball skills than he did in college, where he dropped 10 of his 96 catchable targets. 

OT: Kellen Diesch, Arizona State Sun Devils

Diesch, ranked 70th overall on the PFF big board, is the top Shrine Bowl attendee on PFF's board. He has some of the best feet in the tackle class with easy mirroring ability. He just needs to up his play strength, as he may not even tip the scales at 300 pounds. 


2022 NFL Draft position rankings:
Top 10 players at every position

QB | RB | WR | TE | iOL | OT | DI | EDGE | LB | CB | S


IOL: Alec Lindstrom, Boston College Eagles

Lindstrom won’t be everyone's cup of tea as an undersized center, but schemes that want athletes at that position will love him later in the draft. He’s the brother of Atlanta Falcons guard Chris Lindstrom but didn’t quite get the same size genes. He’s been terrific in pass protection in his career, with only 24 pressures allowed in three seasons. 

DI: Matthew Butler, Tennessee Volunteers

Butler showed flashes throughout his redshirt senior season, but it wasn't enough to get projected earlier than Day 3. He possesses an NFL body type with enough athleticism to be a rotational player in the league.

EDGE: Jeffrey Gunter, Coastal Carolina Chanticleers

Gunter has arguably the most intriguing tools of any prospect in attendance in Las Vegas. Just check out the way he moves for a 6-foot-4, 260-pounder in the clip below.

He’ll need to show off more refined pass-rushing moves at the Shrine Bowl in one-on-ones than he did for the Chanticleers this past season if he wants to make his way up draft boards. Gunter put up just 34 pressures on 258 pass-rushing snaps in 2021.

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LB: Jack Sanborn, Wisconsin Badgers

Sanborn checks in at 120th on the PFF big board and could very easily move up with a strong showing at the Shrine Bowl. He’s an all-around three-down linebacker, but he lacks any high-end traits to go high in the 2022 NFL Draft. One of the biggest concerns for him is how simplistic his role in coverage was at Wisconsin and how he’ll fare in tougher assignments in the league. That’s a red flag he could put to bed in Las Vegas.  

CB: Jermaine Waller, Virginia Tech Hokies

Waller is a ball-hawking corner who endured an up-and-down senior season after missing almost all of 2020 with an injury. His high-end reps and ball skills are great, but he needs to show more consistency in the Shrine Bowl. He had four picks and three pass-breakups on only 42 targets this season.

S: Brad Hawkins, Michigan Wolverines

Hawkins is a throwback 221-pound safety who may end up at linebacker in the NFL with how comfortable he is playing in the box. He was one of the highest-graded safeties in the country against the rushing attack this year, earning an 84.9 run-defense grade.

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